17 Reasons Why

Anyone who can walk around the Old Mint and not be swept into the romance of city history needs to go back to their rathole in the Mission, eat a final burrito, pack the duffel, and move two BART stops south. Most residents crave local history like a drug: It’s prettier than all other cities' history, no question, and it dozes in the foothills rather than vomiting itself all over HBO and the big screen like New York's worn-out past. Did you know that the S.F. Seals' baseball stadium used to be where the Potrero Safeway horror mall now sits? If you answered, "Yes, and third base is next to the frozen Hot Pockets" and not, "Seals? What?" — congratulations. Treat yourself to an It's-It, a screening of A Trip Down Market Street, and a Hamm's beer. The rest of you can visit the San Francisco History Expo, where more than 20 neighborhood historical associations haul out memorabilia for mini-museums of their own slices of the city, including photos, videos, and storytelling events. Groups such as the Prelinger Library and Archives, the GLBT Historical Society, and the Coil Library and Museum of Freemasonry attend. So does Frank Alan Zimmerman, who paints large-scale works of S.F. as it was in the 1850s, with a throwback style reminiscent of landscape masters and dusty history books. Zimmerman is just 32, by the way. He knows the poetry of the city. You should, too.
Feb. 12-13, 11 a.m., 2011

 
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